Worldwide, the majority of people already live in cities and by 2050, it is estimated that 75% of 10 billion people have cities as an important social determinant of health. Air pollution, physical inactivity, noise, social isolation, unhealthy diets, and exposure to crime play a very important part in the non-communicable disease burden. This 3-part Series explores how integrated multisector city planning, including urban design and transport planning, can be used as an important and currently underused force for health and wellbeing within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals in both high-income countries and low-income and middle-income countries.
Urban design – an important future force for health
Healthier neighbourhoods through healthier parks
Urban design and transport to promote healthy lives
Posted in Cities, Design, Health, Neighborhoods, Transport, Urban
Tagged cities, design, Health, neighborhoods, Transport, urban
Significant global health challenges are being confronted in the 21st century, prompting calls to rethink approaches to disease prevention. A key part of the solution is city planning that reduces non-communicable diseases and road trauma while also managing rapid urbanisation. This paper considers the health impacts of city planning through transport mode choices. In this, the first paper, we identify eight integrated regional and local interventions that, when combined, encourage walking, cycling, and public transport use, while reducing private motor vehicle use. These interventions are destination accessibility, equitable distribution of employment across cities, managing demand by reducing the availability and increasing the cost of parking, designing pedestrian-friendly and cycling friendly movement networks, achieving optimum levels of residential density, reducing distance to public transport, and enhancing the desirability of active travel modes (eg, creating safe attractive neighbourhoods and safe, affordable, and convenient public transport). Together, these interventions will create healthier and more sustainable compact cities that reduce the environmental, social, and behavioural risk factors that affect lifestyle choices, levels of traffic, environmental pollution, noise, and crime. The health sector, including health ministers, must lead in advocating for integrated multisector city planning that prioritises health, sustainability, and liveability outcomes, particularly in rapidly changing low-income and middle-income countries. We recommend establishing a set of indicators to benchmark and monitor progress towards achievement of more compact cities that promote health and reduce health inequities.
Four leading academics propose the ‘grounded city’ – where sustainable transport, accessible broadband and modest housing take precedence over ostentatious tower blocks. Our manifesto is about how the fairer city can be achieved by changing both the imaginary and the practice underlying economic and social policy. The central argument is that we can move towards a fairer city by reframing our problems and rethinking our solutions in two ways:
1. Break with the dominant old problem of the competitive city, which competes economically against other cities and sponsors internal competition for limited opportunities.
2. Stop fixating on redistributive policies which will not deliver fairness, and start thinking about reorganising policies which build a grounded economy in the areas which are not exposed to competition.
The global obsession of our age is competing everywhere with everyone for everything. In the mainstream imaginary, every city has to chase competitive success in a league table where it secures prosperity by getting ahead of others. Our premise is that competition is the wrong kind of imaginary; that we are trapped by an idea of the externally competitive city as a basis for economic success.
We believe that civic engagement, or including people in your governing process, is important to your success. Whether you’re a government organisation or a business, connecting with your communities will benefit both you and your community. But getting started with a civic engagement project can be intimidating. So this week, we’ve put together a resource list for you to help you plan and feel confident about your community engagement project.
The urgent need to reconfigure urban areas to consume fewer resources, generate less pollution, be more resilient to the impacts of extreme events and become more sustainable in general, is widely recognised. To address these issues, requires integrated thinking across a range of urban systems, topics, issues and perspectives that are traditionally considered separately. This book introduces key results from the European Science Foundation funded COST Action network that brought together researchers and practitioners involved in urban integrated assessment. Using case studies, theoretical approaches and reporting experience from across Europe this book explores the challenges and opportunities of urban integrated assessment through four perspectives:
(i) Quantified integrated assessment modelling;
(ii) Climate change adaptation and mitigation;
(iii) Green and blue infrastructure; and,
(iv) Urban policy and governance.
The book closes by outlining priorities for future research and development and presents a generic framework for urban integrated assessment to analyse the potential benefits and trade-offs of sustainability policies and interventions.
The value of ‘green infrastructure’ in urban landscapes is becoming increasingly recognised by health professionals, water managers, planners, policy makers and designers around the world. The rapid expansion of towns and cities contains the real risk of creating unliveable, unhealthy environments. The contention is that human habitats need to be healthy and friendly places that use and recycle resources wisely, are clean, safe and accessible, are protected as far as possible from extreme weather conditions, and where natural systems are not only recognised and valued for the critical functions and services they provide, but are assisted in delivering these services. Green Infrastructure is the network of green places and water systems that delivers multiple environmental, social and economic values and services to urban communities. This network includes parks and reserves, backyards and gardens, waterways and wetlands, streets and transport corridors, pathways and greenways, farms and orchards, squares and plazas, business and institutional green areas, roof gardens and living walls, sports fields and cemeteries. Green Infrastructure (GI) is critical to the health, liveability and sustainability of urban environments. It strengthens the resilience of towns and cities to respond to the major current and future challenges of growth, health, climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as water, energy and food security.